Martini Hour 095, In Which Chris Brings the List (and Deke Drools over the Items on It)
No, not Kris Kringle, Chris Breen, Senior Editor of Macworld Magazine, who joins us in the dekeLounge this week to discuss some of his favorite gift ideas for the tech-lover in your life (even if that tech-lover is you...or Deke, who seems very interested in many of these toys). For the record, this show is airing a bit early for us, because neither Deke nor I believe in actually shopping until the 20th of December. But, after I finally kick off my new boots (courtesy of santaDeke, who bought them before the official dekeLounge shopping season) we launch into Chris' delightful list of his favorite tech things for the season.
Here are some of Chris' wonderful (and lust-producing) suggestions:
Etymotic custom-fit earphones: These personalized earbuds not only provide Breen-approved sound, but come with complimentary hot goop in your ears and a soothing sensory-deprivation experience. But the bottom line is a set of comfortable earphones that you can use with your portable electronic devices.
Sonos ZonePlayer S5 multi-room music system: Of course, this had to come up with the audioPhiles Chris and Deke in the lounge. Stream your music from your iTunes collection or online music service anywhere you like with this portable set of speakers. But for my Dan Fogelberg Pandora Radio station, I'll probably have to use the headphones above.
Canon S95 digital camera: It's small. It shoots RAW and HD video. It works in low-light. I'm suddenly nostalgic for the day when I worked on photography books and could justify buying myself one of these babies as a "work expense" instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me.
Blue Microphone's Mikey 2 add-on microphone for iPod: Record subversively anywhere with this handy tool that turns your iPod (or apparently your Flip Cam) into a field recorder. I can't say much more without getting into trouble with Deke and Kevin Stohlmeyer.
Spartan Swiss Army Knife: Because everyone should have a pocket knife. And at $25, you can give this to your child whose bound to lose it, or give it to the TSA when you forget to take it out of your on-board luggage before passing through airport security.
Find My Phone: Locate your Apple mobile devices on a map and play a 2-minute locator beacon signal from any computer (or other Apple mobile device you might own). I've recently named this "Find My Teenager" because I can see him on a map (as long as he remembers to take the phone with him). Update: Since we recorded this show, Find My Phone is now a free application so you no longer need MobileMe for this handy feature (although if you still want it, Chris has a great tip for a discount.)
Apple TV 2: Stream Netflix (and anything else you have on your computers) to your TV. It's small, unobtrusive, and easy to set up. And it's my new solution for not having cable TV. And you can stream content from your iDevices wirelessly. Which makes it cooler than the Xbox you forgot could also stream Netflix.
HDMI cable: Which no longer cost $100 (as Deke once believed). For $7 you can stock your stockings with these doodads. According to Chris, everyone could use a spare or two. Runner-up stocking stuffer: duct tape.
The Macallan 18: No Martini Hour Holiday Gift Guide would be complete without a delicious liquor suggestion. Listen and Deke and Chris deftly discuss the delicate nuances their favorite scotches, whereas my main concern with scotch is that it doesn't taste like liquid burnt rubber.
And much more, including Chris' idea about how to be a giving tech-savvy relative without being exploited by every low-level computer problem that comes up.
Pull up a glass of cheer and join us! With only seven more episodes left, you'll miss us when we're gone (or you'll just catch up on old episodes on iTunes). Here's the regular-quality audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. Here's the high-res version; you'll want to download rather than stream. And don't forget our usual plea to subscribe via iTunes.
And finally, let me second Chris' toast to good times with good friends, including you our treasured dekeCompanions. Thanks Chris, and Cheers!